After 12/7/2011, this blog will no longer be updated, although content will remain. Please visit my new blog at Hidden Latitudes.

Monday, February 14, 2011


   I am an admirer of the triptych. A work of art (usually a painting, etching or bas relief sculpture), I appreciate it for its flexibility. It consists of  three separate works, presented as a whole. They may be unrelated to one another (although that is hard to do well), related in some thematic way (color, shape, size, subject), or even contiguous works (a panorama, or a progression of some sort).
   An example of the latter which recently wowed me was Monet's Water Lilies, which I saw at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. A panorama, it measures an astounding 6' 6 3/4" x 41' 10 3/8".
(click to enlarge).
 What is most moving about Monet's Water Lilies is this scale. Most paintings illustrate large objects (a landscape, a building) in a much smaller frame of reference. Here Monet has done the opposite: he has made a common pond much, much larger than life. Unlike real life, we must look up—and step back—to see it.
  I think this is true, too, of the triptych that is God. He is three distinct parts, but together He forms the panorama of grace. And we must look up—and step back—to even begin to grasp Him. However, it seems we cannot back up far enough. The canvas is infinite in all directions.
  And most impressive of all, He painted it himself.
—Wayne S.

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